Celtics

Danny Ainge congratulates Larry Bird, Marcus Smart for NBA Awards

Danny Ainge congratulates Larry Bird, Marcus Smart for NBA Awards

Though they struck out on the major awards, the Boston Celtics have plenty to be proud of after last night's annual NBA Awards show. 

Former Celtics legend Larry Bird was honored — alongside rival and friend Magic Johnson — with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his accomplishments on and off the court as well as their role in popularizing the league. Bird, a three-time MVP and three-time NBA champion with the Celtics, thanked the many great teammates he played with during his 13-year career in Boston. 

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In his acceptance speech, Bird also praised the level of skill of today's NBA while shutting down the clamors of many former players (looking at you, Chuck) who romanticize the NBA of yesteryear. "The game's in a good place," Bird said. "What I tell players coming in today: keep the game the way you found it, and it can go on for generations to come." Without Bird and Magic's contributions in the 1980's, the NBA wouldn't be in the spot it is. 

Nobody realizes Bird's impact better than former teammate and current Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge.

Ainge also has great admiration for current Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who won the NBA's Hustle Award. Smart is exactly the type of hard-nosed, team-first player Ainge covets. 

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NBA Rumors: Celtics staffer believes Tacko Fall is worth an investment

NBA Rumors: Celtics staffer believes Tacko Fall is worth an investment

Tacko Fall took the Las Vegas Summer League by storm not only with his size, but his ability to impact the game in ways players that big struggle to do consistently at the highest level. 

The Celtics got a front-row seat to Fall's play after signing the big man to an Exhibit 10 contract following the 2019 NBA Draft. He averaged 7.2 points, four rebounds and 1.2 blocks on 77 percent shooting to go along with some eye-popping dunks where he barely left the floor. 

It's up to Boston whether to carry him on the roster next season, and one anonymous Celtics staffer believes Fall is worth an investment, especially if he continues to develop at the rate he has been since the draft. 

The Celtics filled its last roster spot by signing Javonte Green to a partially guaranteed contract this week and have both two-way contract slots occupied by Max Strus and Tremont Waters. 

Boston typically brings in more than 15 players under contract into camp for competition purposes, but the Exhibit 10 contract gives Fall a guaranteed camp invite along with a $50,000 bonus if the Celtics waive him and want to sign him to the Maine Red Claws. 

It's difficult to see what the staffer means exactly by saying he's "worth an investment." But whether it means a full-time roster spot, a two-way deal or the $50,000 bonus to play in Maine all season, it's clear the Celtics want to give the 7-7 big man out of UCF an extended look this year. While Fall has a very long way to go before he can crack an NBA rotation, you can't deny how much fun it is to watch him dwarf the giants of the league. 

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WATCH: Brian Scalabrine swats Stephen Jackson's shot in BIG3 game

WATCH: Brian Scalabrine swats Stephen Jackson's shot in BIG3 game

Former Celtics forward and NBC Sports Boston's own Brian Scalabrine showed he still has a little something left over from his playing days during a BIG3 game Sunday. 

Scalabrine found himself guarding former scoring wing Stephen Jackson, and when Jackson went up for a reverse layup on the right side of the rim, Scalabrine was there to send it back. Since BIG3 basketball is played in the half-court, Scal's team quickly turned the play into two points. 

This shouldn't come all that surprising though. Say what you want about Scal's offensive game when he didn't have his jumper going, but the man was always an underrated post defender. 

Given the state of the Celtics frontcourt going into the 2019-20 season, could they use some of Scal's interior presence on the defensive end? Probably not, but that most likely won't stop him from sharing his highlights with Brad Stevens and the Celtics coaching staff. 

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